Indeed, and so it's worth circling back on an element of the post-election discussion about Latino voters: the refrain that it's a heterogeneous group (which is undoubtedly true)
Every major demographic group is heterogeneous. Many frequently analyzed demographic groups, like women or young voters include people of every educational, racial or regional strata
Even racially/educationally homogenous groups (say, white working class voters) include huge variation: white no college voters in Mississippi and Vermont have... very little in common
Nonetheless, these big messy groups--young people, white working class voters, latino voters, and so on--really do have things in common that distinguishes them from the rest of the electorate, making them useful categories for analysis despite all the subtlety they obscure
It is important to be cognizant of intra-group fissures, and make sure to raise them when they matter. In the Obama era, for instance, it was really important to distinguish between white working class voters in the north and south. They swung fundamentally differently
But more often than not, I think you tend to lose information by allowing 'x group isn't a monolith'--however true--to obscure what voters within the major demographic groups share in common
In this case, I think a lot was obscured by the erroneous--and clearly erroneous on election night (see Osceola)--assumption that Trump's gains among Latino voters were localized and confined to groups that were deemed unrepresentative of Latinos more generally
Something happened with the Latino vote just about everywhere in the country, and I don't feel entirely satisfied with by the explanations to this point, in part because so many want to tackle the problem by slicing and dicing the group
Imagine all that would have been missed if we told the story of Trump's gains among white working class voters in '16 as a bunch of localized tales about some union in Youngstown or some Catholic diocese in Scranton or guns in Wisconsin, or whatever

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More from @Nate_Cohn

14 Dec
Good morning everyone, happy start of in-person early voting for Georgia Senate runoffs day
We already have a lot of data in GA: more than 1.2 million absentee ballot requests, including 260k votes.
It's hard to read too much into the data, but on balance it's hard to say that it augurs for a vastly different electorate than the general (in terms of partisanship)
It's hard to read too much into the data because voters didn't exactly have an equal opportunity to request absentee ballots for the runoff and the general election. The general election was coming all year; the runoff and its significance only became evident a month ago
Read 10 tweets
11 Dec
One of the strangest parts about the Texas suit is that it originates in Texas. If there's any state GOP that ought to intuit that the election result is entirely sound, it's probably the Texas GOP
The state of Texas has strict voter ID laws and didn't expand absentee voting. As far as I know, Texas checked just about every box of the GOP voting rules wish list.
And yet Trump only won Texas by 5.3 points--a result that's pretty facially consistent with GOP defeat
Biden improved by 3.4 points over Clinton's performance in the state--a larger improvement than his gains in any of PA/MI/WI.
He did so despite suffering big losses among the state's Latino voters--a group that represents a sliver of the vote in PA/MI/WI
Read 9 tweets
10 Dec
One simple way of thinking about the Biden coalition--and maybe not a very good one--is to note that it's the Kerry '04 states, plus NM/NV/CO/AZ in the southwest and GA/VA in the southeast.
If you look at long term change this way--in terms of state flips--it highlights the growing diversity of the electorate, which nudged (as many predicted at the time!) these states toward Dems. OTOH, it obscures wild swings among white voters by education and region
And in a certain sense, it is pretty remarkable that Trump wasn't able to flip any Kerry states, despite making such huge gains among whites without a degree--including states where >50% of votes fall into the category
Read 6 tweets
7 Dec
I think there's really one case in which we'd learn something from the polls in Georgia: if they showed the GOP clearly ahead, indicating a shift in the national political environment to something like a Biden midterm
The polls don't really seem to show this so far, and therefore we're probably in the range where the polls won't help us much over the hard results from November. The changes in attitudes are too small to be precisely measured, and polls aren't good at measuring changing turnout
We could get some decent signal on changes in turnout with advance voting data, though tbh the absentee voting surge for the general will make it more difficult to parse this than you might think
Read 6 tweets
3 Dec
One measure of how absentee ballots became partisan over time in Georgia: the partisanship of absentee ballot requests by date
In April, the early absentee ballot requests were overwhelmingly GOP after the primary was delayed and the SOS mailed out absentee requests.
Over time, Trump polarized the issue and Democrats became far likelier to apply.…
The y-axis is the share of applicants (with a record of partisan voting) who are recent Democratic primary voters. GA doesn't have party registration, so it's the best we've got
Read 4 tweets
2 Dec
To the extent there's a disagreement (and I wouldn't even call it that), it's about a very valid question about when (and potentially how) to allocate voters of 'unknown' race in GA. Whether you do so doesn't affect the conclusion, but it's being used to imply that it does
As long as I've been at the Times, none of my GA analyses have allocated 'unknown' voters. That's in part because you wade into the debate about how to do it, which seems unnecessary if it doesn't materially affect your findings--as in this case
Read 10 tweets

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